Amanda is a student who came to Valencia with her University from the US for a summer study abroad and internship program for about 2 months. Her program included Spanish classes and an agriculture internship, along with living with a host family. Since she studies Horticulture at her University, she was able to work with a agricultural company focused on local produce here in Valencia.
We were able to chat with her about her experience in Valencia and what she liked best, and here’s what she told us:
1. Why did you decide to come to Valencia?
I had wanted to study abroad in Spain since I was a sophomore in high school and Valencia seemed a wonderful city since it wasn’t too touristy but was still easy to navigate and enjoy.
2. What was the biggest cultural difference you found?
It definitely took me a while to get used to the difference in timetables but my host mom was wonderful and supportive and walked me through many different cultural differences!
3. What would you say was your favorite part about Valencia?
I loved walking around and enjoying Ciutat de las Artes y Ciencias. Kayaking was also very fun and exploring the city was always very enriching and exciting. Carmen (my host mother) also took me to a celebration with her extended family and they immediately accepted me and the men tried to teach me how to make paella!
5. Do you feel like you had an international experience while in Valencia?
Absolutely and then some! Many of the people I worked with were from different countries other than Spain and so these differences were extremely interesting to learn about and engage with.
7. How was your experience living with a host family?
I was extremely blessed with my host family, Carmen and Fernando were amazing. I felt immediately at home there and it just about eradicated any homesickness or adjustment period for me. They were also ready to answer questions, to share meals and to bring me into the rest of their family!
8. How would you rate your experience overall?
Amazing. I already miss it! Thank you so much to everyone who made this trip amazing. I have definitely had international experiences in the past that were difficult but this one blew those out of the water. I feel so much more comfortable traveling to new places and staying with new people now. Thank you!
If you’d like to see more student interviews, check them out here!